I've loved writing for almost as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, I loved making up stories about characters that I had created. I would make small books by writing on pieces of printer paper, drawing pictures to go with the story, and stapling them together. I continued this love of writing throughout middle school, learning to write poetry as well as novels and short stories, and I still love writing today. However, I recently learned about, and started creating, another form of writing: songwriting.
When I first tried songwriting, I was still in late elementary school. My brother and I would make up parodies of holiday songs by keeping the tune and changing the lyrics. Back then, I wasn't quite sure how to write my own music. We would then record the songs with our video camera. That was my first attempt and songwriting, and I don't have any of the lyrics that I wrote back then. However, writing holiday parodies helped me realize how difficult and fun songwriting could be.
Later on, when I was a sophomore in high school, I approached songwriting again. This time, the songs I wrote were extremely emotional, not anything like the lighthearted parodies I wrote when I was younger. I was dealing with a lot back then, and writing songs helped me deal with my feelings. In addition to writing, I also researched songwriting, because I wanted to write the best songs I could. During my research, I learned that songwriters have many different ways of writing songs. Some songwriters, including myself, write the lyrics first and then create the music. Others create the music before the lyrics. However, to my understanding, a lot of songwriters write different songs in different ways. For example, a songwriter could write the music first for one song, and then the lyrics first for another. Or they could come up with the music and lyrics at the same time. Learning other songwriters' tips for writing songs helped me when I was writing my own music.
When I was sixteen, I recorded my first original music video. The song was called "Take It To Heart," and I had written both the lyrics and melody. I played the melody and chords on the keyboard piano. Writing it was difficult, especially writing the melody and finding a chord progression to go with it. I had written the lyrics first, written the melody second, and found the chord progression after that. Looking back on it, I think it would have been easier if I had decided on the chord progression before I wrote the melody. That's how I wrote my next song, "We'll Be Proud," and it was much easier for me. However, different songwriters often have different ways of writing a song, so something that is difficult for me might be easy for someone else.
If you love music, poetry, or writing, I would definitely recommend giving songwriting a try. Songwriting has helped me, and many other people, process their emotions in a fun and creative way. When I grow up, I'm hoping to write songs as part of my career. However, I know it will require a lot of practice, which is why I'm thinking about taking lessons in songwriting as well as singing. If I end up deciding not to be a songwriter as part of my career, I will probably still write songs for fun, because I love songwriting and want to write songs forever. Whether you write songs professionally or just for fun, I think that songwriting is an awesome thing to do.
Have you ever written a song? What do you think about songwriting? Let me know in the comments below!